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Old 03-03-2012, 11:02 AM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Southier than thou
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@Istorian: Actually the Greek governments (plural) have been showing remarkable creativity when it comes to fooling the EU. As for the EU not discovering it, it's limited what they could do due to state sovereignty (not made easier due to the difficulty in discovering when a state intentionally misreport, just ask any poor guy trying to solve white collar crime). So yes, they lied, and just like a guy hiding his debts and overstating his income in order to get new loans, once people find out, the pain is much worse.

Greece doesn't just have a problem with corrupt politicians, it has a problem of people not having faith in the institutions. When "everyone" dodges taxes (yes, the wealthy tend to be better at this, the point still stands), and "everyone" tries to fool the system (like trying to claim benefits they aren't eligible for), running the country becomes that much harder, and crucially, more expensive (ex: more tax money spent on trying to catch tax dodgers= less tax money for other things). While obviously the rich and politicians should pay their taxes, it won't be enough if others keep dodging them.
Add governments who have been overspending, and you have a recipe for disaster.

When it comes to blaming Germany (and anyone else that's bailing out Greece), keep in mind that they have to keep their own voters in mind too. Just throwing money at Greece without conditions would be electoral suicide.

For what it's worth, I don't think the austerity measures imposed is doing Greece any good in the long term, however if that's the cost of getting a bailout, it's the best solution that's politically feasible.

Checking out seems not to do much.
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